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The Atmosphere In San Jose

from Katie Baker of Grantland,

Joe Louis Arena has its long history, TD Garden has its swagger, and the Bell Centre has that certain je ne sais quoi. But if I were compiling a list of favorite places to go to watch a hockey game, the Shark Tank in San Jose would be very close to the top. (Notice I call it the Shark Tank, and not the “SAP Center” — I’m still bitter that the place is no longer named after a personal computer introduced in 1995, which was just so perfectly Silicon Valley.)

The sport of hockey has long embraced the absurd — from the gap-toothed smiles to the playoff beards to the logic around letting players punch each other in the face — and few arenas gather all that kooky energy together better than the one in San Jose. Before you even enter the Shark Tank, you can sense it; there are few things funnier than watching a group of middle-aged men clad fully in aggressive shades of teal — a Hertl, a Ricci, and an Ozolinsh! — hopping off the commuter train and striding purposefully toward the arena like they’re about to pitch a VC firm. Actually, I lied: What’s funnier is watching them, later in the game, do “the chomp” with their arms while ominous Jaws music plays and an opposing player gets sent to the penalty box. Also, I forgot to mention that the players skate out of a giant shark head, complete with lit-up red eyes, at the start of every game. What’s not to love?

Of course, it helps that the on-ice product has been one of the NHL’s best over the past decade. The Sharks haven’t missed the playoffs since 2003, which gives them the NHL’s second-longest active postseason streak, after Detroit. 


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Steve in San Francisco's avatar

There is a ton of energy at the Shark Tank, but I do have 2 major beefs with it:
1> The fans need to understand that the word “Sharks” has one syllable, and yet they insist on stretching it out to two in their “Let’s go Sha-arks” chant. Also, they seem to only know the one chant.
2> The music director needs to find another song to play after goals. Sure, his we-just-scored remix of Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll Part 2” (AKA ” that Doctor Who song”) was probably cool 9 years ago, but it has worn thin, esp after the Sharks put up a 7-spot on the Kings last night.

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 04/21/14 at 12:43 PM ET


If you are an opposition fan be prepared for a torrent of aggressive harassment at the tank. My friends and I stopped attending Wings v. Sharks games at the tank because to many knuckleheads were far to aggressive, so much so we felt unsafe. This on top of ridiculous prices for tickets and merch. The tank is full of assholes who want to berate and assault you if you wear the wrong jersey.

Posted by Bay Area Wings fan on 04/21/14 at 02:07 PM ET


Its an exciting place for Sharks fans though

Posted by Bay Area Wings fan on 04/21/14 at 02:08 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

As another Bay Area Wings fan, I;ve never gotten much harassment that wasn’t to be expected, mostly of the good-natured-ribbing sort, but then I usually go with a large contingent of Wings fans (Kezar Pub bus trips), so the safety in numbers factor may play in there…

I am a bit saddened that they wanted $90+ for the cheapest seats in the house when the Wings made their only trip to the tank this year, tho, so I may not be going to many of those in future.

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 04/21/14 at 02:37 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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